(Minghui.org) Continued from Part 1 .
After forced labor camps were purportedly abolished in China last year, another system became more prominent in the persecution of Falun Gong: brainwashing centers. The arbitrary nature of these centers—with fewer procedural requirements than forced labor camps or detention centers—makes them an effective weapon in the Chinese Communist Party's arsenal for persecuting Falun Gong.
This three-part series focuses on the Xinjin Brainwashing Center in Sichuan Province, also known as the Chengdu Brainwashing Center. About 1,000 practitioners have been detained there since its creation in 2003.
Part 1 of the series explains how brainwashing centers fit into the overall mechanism of the persecution. As with the police and domestic security divisions, where the authorities abuse their power with impunity, brainwashing centers are used to maximize the impact of the persecution.
Part 2 below examines the depth of the persecution. In addition to direct forms of physical abuse and torture, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) officials manipulate friends and family members of practitioners, create enormous financial pressure, and use every means at their disposal in their attempt to crush the practitioners' wills.
In order to gain leverage over Falun Gong practitioners and coerce them into renouncing their belief, Xinjin Brainwashing Center officials threaten the safety of their family members.
When assistant engineer Mr. Liu Yingxu of the former Mianzhu Eastern Steam Turbine Factory was illegally detained at the brainwashing center, he went on a hunger strike to protest the detention.
Staff member Bao Xiaomu told Mr. Liu's parents to visit him and help convince him to end his hunger strike. Once they got there, Bao threatened that if Mr. Liu refused to eat, his parents would be detained as well.
After Mr. Xie Deqing , a former employee of the Chengdu Engineering Corporation, was detained at the Xinjin Brainwashing Center for the first time, his daughter-in-law could not bear the stress of constantly being followed, monitored, and threatened. She fell ill and passed away shortly thereafter.
Mr. Xie was not allowed to go home or attend his daughter-in-law's funeral. Brainwashing center officials tried to coerce him to renounce Falun Gong to be allowed to attend the funeral.
Mr. Xie was arrested again on April 29, 2009, by officials from the Chengdu Engineering Corporation, Funan Community Residential Committee, local 610 Office, and Shirennan Road Community Residential Committee, as well as officers from the Funan Police Station. He was violently beaten and severely injured at the police station by director Liu Chuan and other officers.
Mr. Xie died less than a month after being sent to the Xinjin Brainwashing Center for the second time. Before his death, he revealed that he had been forcibly taken to a hospital by brainwashing center personnel, given a physical examination, and injected with unknown drugs. As a result, he could barely eat or drink for nearly 10 days.
Both of Mr. Xie's hands were black when he passed away. According to family members, the rest of his body had also turned dark, showing signs of poisoning.
Mr. Xie Haifeng , a graduate of the China Pharmaceutical University, was also detained at the Xinjin Brainwashing Center. He was not allowed to be with his wife when she gave birth. Brainwashing center officials used this opportunity to pressure him to renounce his belief, telling him that he could not see his family until he did so.
In order to “transform” Ms. Yang Qian , a resident of the No. 18 Middle School Community in Chengdu City, brainwashing center staff threatened to arrest her mother.
Ms. Wang Mingxun from Jinniu District, Chengdu City, was not allowed to go home when one of her close family members fell seriously ill. Brainwashing center officials used this as leverage to pressure her to renounce her belief so that she could visit family.
Mr. Yan Liangru , an employee of the Chengdu Aircraft Design and Research Institute, was arrested and sent to the Xinjin Brainwashing Center by police from the local Domestic Security Division. His 92-year-old mother cried every day in his absence. She was unable to eat or drink and had to be given IV fluids to help sustain her life. Her hands and feet became swollen to the point that an IV could no longer be administrated. Even during her final days, she asked about her son whenever she was conscious.
Mr. Yan was not allowed to visit his mother before she passed away or attend her funeral. He was not even allowed to call home before his mother passed away.
Brainwashing centers routinely force practitioners and their families to make payments to them to augment the funding that they receive from the CCP. They call these payments “tuition.”
Almost 10,000 yuan (~$1,600 USD) worth of fees per person per month is paid to the brainwashing centers by practitioners' families, employers, and/or residential districts.
The very existence of brainwashing centers is illegal, but very few in the general public realize it.
The Xinjin Brainwashing Center is officially known to the public as the “Chengdu Legal Education Center.” The brainwashing sessions are referred to as “educational programs” or “classes.” The illegally detained practitioners are called “students,” and the guards and monitors are called “teachers.” These terms deceptively attempt to lend an air of legitimacy.
One might assume that “students” are there of their own free will and have full rights as normal citizens. In reality, the detained practitioners are treated as prisoners; their freedom is stripped away the moment they are forcibly sent to the brainwashing center. They are not allowed to leave on their own terms, and are involuntarily subjected to the propaganda created by the CCP.
Mencius, a Chinese philosopher and the most well-known student of Confucius, said: “Righteousness is most important and most powerful—it will never die.” He encouraged people not to be “moved by hardships, bought by money, or bent by power.”
Falun Gong practitioners uphold this tradition by adhering to the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance and acting in a nonviolent manner. In sharp contrast, brainwashing center officials use torture and vile propaganda to break down practitioners' wills.
Relatively few practitioners are killed outright, but all are subjected to physical abuse coupled with mental torture.
The Xinjin Brainwashing Center employs every method at its disposal to “transform” practitioners and force them to renounce their belief. The very idea is against the Chinese Constitution, which guarantees freedom of belief, and the brainwashing center stops at nothing to achieve its goals.
The brainwashing process follows a cycle of deception, threats, imprisonment, and torture. Before they are released, practitioners are required to write statements renouncing their belief and reveal the identities of other practitioners. They come out of the process entirely different people, with their will broken and their conscience no longer intact.
Before being released, each practitioner is required to fill out a “Graduation Approval Form.” They are expected to prove to the brainwashing center authorities that they have accepted the lies of the CCP that slander Falun Gong and acknowledge themselves as “students” of the center.
The persecution continues after these practitioners are released. By putting the released practitioners on an “observation period” and making regular visits to their homes, the brainwashing center officials extend the persecution and reinforce the results of the brainwashing.
The entire process is ultimately an exercise in mind control—one of the most insidious aspects of the brutal persecution.
The Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party discusses the nine inherent traits of the CCP: evil, deceit, incitement, unleashing the scum of society, espionage, robbery, fighting, elimination, and control. The brainwashing process reflects nearly each of these characteristics:
Evil: Brainwashing centers deny detainees freedom of religion and thought, seeking to kill the good in human nature. The very existence and mission of the brainwashing centers is inherently evil.
Deceit: Deceit is the most commonly utilized tactic at the brainwashing centers. From the staff to the “assistant teachers,” all are well-versed in deception and propaganda.
Incitement: Using lies and fabrications that slander Falun Gong seeks to incite hatred among practitioners and the general public.
Fighting: The “assistant teachers” verbally and physically abuse those who refuse to renounce their beliefs. Such violence is reminiscent of the “class struggles” that mark the entire history of the CCP.
Robbery: Brainwashing centers extort money from practitioners and their families.
Espionage: Practitioners and their families are extensively monitored, as CCP agents seek to find their weaknesses and ensure that they are fully “transformed,” even outside of the brainwashing center.
Elimination: Forcing practitioners to renounce their beliefs aims at destroying their spirits.
Control: As explained in the Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party , all of these traits serve a common goal: “to control the populace through the use of terror.” At the Xinjin Brainwashing Center, every activity is geared toward “transforming” practitioners to establish control over their minds and spirits.
(To be continued)